Statement of Purpose:
It is generally
acknowledged that the literature of the Greeks and Romans is among the
most beautiful and powerful expressions of the human mind. It is also
generally known that this body of literature was created with the
intention of being
orally performed and aurally experienced by a group of listeners,
large or small, and was not intended to be read silently with the eyes
alone. The element of sound is therefore fundamental to a full
esthetic experience and understanding of Greek and Latin literature.
And yet, the traditional method of teaching Greek and Latin ignores or
neglects the sounds of these languages, as if they were of
little or no importance, thus depriving students of the basic literary
reward of hearing and reproducing beautiful poetry. It is as if
students were to study Mozart solely from musical scores and not be
given the opportunity of hearing his music. It is the aim or
our Society to encourage students and teachers to listen to and to
reproduce the sounds of Greek and Latin literature, thereby enriching
the whole study process of these languages. Fortunately, linguistic
and metrical research of the last century now permits us to acquire a
close approximation of the pronunciation of classical Greek and Latin,
a result which we call the "restored pronunciation" (basic
bibliography below). Our Society feels that it is our professional
duty to use the results of this research in our teaching of Greek and
Latin as a means for achieving maximum authenticity and esthetic
pleasure in the reading of Greek and Latin literary works. As a means
toward this end, our Society presents programs oriented to the oral
performance of Classical literature at the annual APA meetings, we
publish a newsletter, we have established this website to
present pertinent information, audio clips, queries and discussion,
while several members or our Society regularly give recitals of Greek
and Latin literature in schools, colleges and universities throughout
We cordially invite you to join the Society for the Oral Reading of
Greek and Latin Literature and to share our experience in hearing and
reproducing the true sounds of Homer, Vergil, and the other Classical
You are visitor number 20999 since June 2003.
Allen, W.S. Accent and
Rhythm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
Idem. Vox Graeca, 3rd
ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Idem. Vox Latina, 2nd
ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978.
Stanford, W.B. The
Sound of Greek. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.
Sturtevant, E.H. The Pronunciation of Greek and Latin, 2nd
ed. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1977.
Officers of the
President: Andrew S. Becker,
Vice-President: Chris Ann Mateo,
Secretary: Jerise Fogel,
Honorary President: Stephen G.
Honorary Vice-President: Robert P. Sonkowsky,
(in addition to the above):
Our Society welcomes submissions of announcements,
questions, and brief comments (Maximum 250 words) related to oral
performance of Classical literature:
- Postal address
- Professor Stephen G. Daitz
425 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10025
- Electronic mail
- General Information:
This site is co-sponsored by the Virginia Tech Department of Languages and Literatures.